Attackers exploit the growing use of mobile devices

The growth in mobile device and app usage has created a growing attack surface, with 60 percent of global web traffic now coming from mobile devices. So it's not surprising that increasing numbers of cybercriminals and nation state actors want to exploit these areas of vulnerability.

The latest Global Mobile Threat Report from Zimperium finds that 80 percent of phishing sites now either specifically target mobile devices or are built to function on both mobile devices and desktops.

During 2022, Zimperium detected an average of four malicious/phishing links clicked for every device covered by its anti-phishing technology. EMEA and North America have the highest percentage of devices being impacted by spyware, with EMEA at 35 percent and North America at 25 percent.

Both Apple and Android devices have seen increasing instances of detected vulnerabilities. There was a 138 percent increase in critical Android vulnerabilities discovered in 2022, while Apple iOS accounted for 80 percent of the zero-day vulnerabilities actively being exploited in the wild.

Between 2021 and 2022, the total number of unique mobile malware samples detected rose 51 percent, with more than 920,000 samples found, including Dirty RatMilad, MoneyMonger and Dark Herring. In 2021, Zimperium detected malware on one in 50 Android devices. This increased significantly in 2022 to one in every 20 devices.

Improper cloud storage configurations in mobile apps are also a leading attack surface. 14 percent of mobile apps that use cloud storage were found to have unsecured configurations and were vulnerable.

"The explosive growth in mobile device and app usage has created an ever-growing attack surface," says Shridhar Mittal, CEO of Zimperium. "Mobile devices are integral to the way we work, communicate, navigate, bank, and stay informed -- creating new opportunities for malware. Last year's Global Mobile Threat Report revealed that 60 percent of the endpoints accessing enterprise assets were mobile devices, and this does not seem to be slowing down. Mobile-powered businesses must increase mobile security measures to protect the personal data security of employees and the sensitive information belonging to the organization."

In response to these escalating threats it's not surprising that 85 percent of organizations say they now have a budget dedicated to mobile security.

You can get the full report from the Zimperium site and there's an infographic overview of the findings below.

Image Credit: Anan Chincho / Shutterstock

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